Monthly Archives: December 2013

Five Mistakes KILLING Self-Published Authors

Here is good advice from Kristen Lamb to authors who want to self publish.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Rise of the Machines Human Authors in a Digital World, social media authors, Kristen Lamb, WANA, Rise of the Machines

When I began writing I was SO SURE agents would be fighting over my manuscript. Yeah. But after almost thirteen years in the industry, a lot of bloody noses, and even more lessons in humility, I hope that these tips will help you. Self-publishing is AWESOME, and it’s a better fit for certain personalities and even content (um, social media?), but we must be educated before we publish.

Mistake #1 Publishing Before We Are Ready

The problem with the ease of self-publishing is that it is, well, too easy. When we are new, frankly, most of us are too dumb to know what we don’t know. Just because we made As in English, does not automatically qualify us to write a work spanning 60,000-100,000 words. I cannot count how many writers I’ve met who refuse to read fiction, refuse to read craft books, and who only go to pitch agents…

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Cinda Cyrus

Cinda obit

Cinda Cyrus died two years ago.

She made magnificent preparations for Christmas 2011, even though she passed away just a scant week before the day itself. Cinda wanted to make sure everyone got cards and presents. She was lying in a  hospital bed, directing friends and family in their assigned tasks to make this the best Christmas ever for the people she loved. When I came for a visit, I was told to  order five books and having them shipped to the recipients at once.

Cinda was a boss, supervisor, head honcho, whatever you went to call it. I met her thirty years ago when she became my boss. She demanded more than I was willing to give, but I wound up giving it anyway, mostly because she was generous with praise and encouragement. She always felt people could do better, and mostly, she was right. She encouraged me to submit my first non-fiction article to Third Coast magazine in Austin. When it got published, we celebrated.

Over the years she encouraged me in everything, from jobs to writing.

We had good talks, some disagreements, and many good laughs.

I still miss her. It seems inconceivable that I can’t just send her an e-mail, or forward her something funny or outrageous, or talk to her on the phone. Since we were both Texans, we loved to “visit.”

She encouraged many people through the years. When Christmas came, she always gave to charities, like a hospital in Africa that helped women with difficult childbirth. Falling in with the spirit, one Christmas I “adopted” a wolf cub in her name. It pleased her mightily.

She loved Christmas. She loved to give gifts. I miss getting my Christmas book and my Christmas flower.

She taught me to persevere, to keep my chin up, to help others.

Merry Christmas, Cinda.  The gifts you gave me are still with me.

A Christmas tree icon

A Christmas tree icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Rejection, Reinvention & Do-Overs—What YOU Need to Know About E-Books

Now that we’re in post-NaNo December, here’s a blog from Kristen Lamb about rejections and stuff.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Waaayyyy back in the Dark Ages of Publishing, I queried many, many…*sigh* many agents, only to be rejected. Then, I pitched a social media book for writers…and they laughed in my face. Social media is a fad. Authors only need a good book. Yup. Well, these are the same folks who are now requiring an author to have a strong social media platform and most won’t so much as look at a book if they can’t google an author’s name and have it show up (and show something vibrant and interesting).

Had it not been for the indie/e-book revolution, my first #1 best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, and my second #1 best-selling book Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer, and now my new best-selling book Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World would never have existed (let alone dominated…

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